INTERVIEW: Surgeon Happy to Have Operated on Ex-Emperor 10 Yrs Ago

Society Imperial Family

Tokyo, Feb. 23 (Jiji Press)--Atsushi Amano, the surgeon who operated on Japanese Emperor Emeritus Akihito 10 years ago, says he is glad to have been able to carry out the surgery on the then Emperor.

The former Emperor, who turned 88 last December, is now leading a healthy life. “Some people may say that it’s enough to maintain a certain level of health (through surgery), but it was really good that I did the surgery (on the then Emperor) in the same way as that for a younger person,” Amano, 66, special professor for cardiovascular surgery at Juntendo University’s Faculty of Medicine, told Jiji Press in a recent interview.

On Feb. 18, 2012, Amano conducted coronary-artery bypass surgery on the then Emperor, then 78, at the University of Tokyo Hospital.

In a checkup conducted a week before the operation, the then Emperor was diagnosed with angina pectoris, with stenosis found progressing in two of his three coronary arteries. The heart surgery, aimed at improving his quality of life, was carried out by a joint team of the University of Tokyo and Juntendo University and took about four hours.

At the time, Amano was told by the late Ichiro Kanazawa, who was medical supervisor for the Imperial Family, to be “on standby” in the event surgery would become necessary for the then Emperor, depending on the situation.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press